This book provides a comprehensive, student-friendly and critical introduction to youth justice in England and Wales, offering a balanced evaluation of its development, rationale, nature and evidence base. It explores the evolution of definitions and explanations of youth offending and examines the responses to it that constitute youth justice. Bringing together theory and practice, this book provides a balanced exposition of contemporary youth justice debates, including detailed discussions of governmental rationales and practical issues and an extensive evaluation of critical academic positions. It includes a range of features designed to engage and inspire students: `Stop and think': Activities challenging students to reflect on important issues. `Conversations': Discussions of key themes and issues from the perspectives and experiences of relevant stakeholders, including policy makers and activists. `Telling it like it is': Testimonies giving voice to the personalised, subjective and contentious viewpoints of youth justice influencers. `Controversies and debates': Prompts to stimulate students to question and critique established knowledge and understanding by considering alternative angles. `Recurring theme alerts': Boxes flagging up recurring themes in the developing construction of youth offending and youth justice. This book is essential reading for students taking courses in youth justice, youth offending, youth crime, youth work and social policy.